Eighth Americas Conference on Information Systems, 1143–1148
Chingning Wang, Ping Zhang, Risook Choi, and Michael D'Eredita (2002).
Wang et al. go beyond the familiar assertion that consumers ignore and devalue advertising, regardless of the medium, by considering the active nature of consumers according to the Uses and Gratifications model. They particularly emphasize the interactivity of some advertisements. These ads allow consumers to actively process, evaluate, and utilize the information provided, and are hypothesized to be the object of more positive attitudes from consumers. Wang et al. note that the internet is an especially good medium for these interactive ads. They also consider the motives consumers have when using a particular kind of media as a factor in determining attitude. Advertising which is particularly interactive, allowing consumers' high levels of control and which meets the informational needs that are consumers' motives for utilizing internet sources elicits an increased perception of value from consumers. The authors conducted a survey with students and staff from a northeastern college in which twelve different types of advertising types were presented and attitudinal responses were elicited.
This article is particularly useful to a study of consumer attitudes toward internet advertising because it provides an account of situations in which internet advertising can be especially effective. It serves in part to balance other sources which find consumer attitudes to be more negative. However, it is quite limited in its explanation of its methods and results. It is also limited in its results themselves, in that the description of internet advertising which can be safely considered effective is fairly narrow--limited to directional marketing--though it does outline some attributes which, if incorporated, could be helpful to other types of advertising as well. The article also includes a list of both advertisement and consumer characteristics which influence attitude, including entertainment, informativeness, credibility, demographic considerations, level of irritation evoked by advertisements, and interactivity. Entertainment, interactivity, and irritation are three factors which repeatedly appear in advertising literature. While Wang et al. theorize that the informational content of ads may be particularly effective, other studies find that entertainment value is of more importance.
Journal of Interactive Marketing, 22(2), 2-18.
Yoo, C. Y., (2008).
In light of the considerable findings that consumers do not pay attention to advertising, Yoo examines the role implicit memory plays in the effectiveness of ads. A study was conducted in which level of attention was manipulated, and attitudes towards brands were measured. The results indicate that positive attitudes towards brands increased regardless of the level of attention directed at the advertisement. Moreover, while participants who received the implicit memory condition were not as likely as those receiving the explicit memory condition to include the target brand in a list of brands which they would consider when making a particular purchase, they were more likely to list the brand than those who had received no ad exposure. This shows that exposure to ads, even while accompanied by low attention, can increase the role the advertised brand plays in consumption choices. Thus, while focused attention on internet ads is ideal, even mere exposure to ads with minimal or no attention can have positive effects. The author hypothesizes that this is due to implicit memory and priming effects, in which previously stored memory is unconsciously and unintentionally retrieved and utilized.
Yoo's article provides a response to alarmed reports that consumers are not paying attention to internet advertising. While the study notes that audiences which are interested in and attending to advertising messages are ideal and should be sought after, it also refutes the idea that internet advertising which does not evoke this response is useless, ineffective, or a waste of money and space. This is especially good news for advertisers considering some of the abysmal findings of other studies. One of the key strengths of Yoo's work is that it provides not only findings, but also a theoretical framework rooted in previous psychological work which facilitates understanding of the findings. This theory can in part explain some of the conflicting studies, some of which decry internet advertising as a lost cause and others which consider its fate not so hopeless or even downright promising. The findings also provide a clear path for advertisers: continue to strive for increased attention to advertising, but meanwhile continue purchasing ad space because it is likely to do some good.